A CROWDFUNDER has been launched to help bring a cinema back to Stourbridge, as the team behind the ambitious project opened up about their bid to transform a former bar into a mecca for film fans.

The West Midlands Community Cinema and Art Spaces CIC is a not-for-profit organisation seeking to turn the old Chicago’s bar in Stourbridge’s Ryemarket shopping centre into a new boutique cinema with two screens.

Leading the project is James Anderson Brown, founder of The Mockingbird cinema in Birmingham and the Lume Cinema in Kidderminster.

Having taken on the empty bar, which was most recently known as the Soda Lounge prior to the pandemic, they opened the doors for a peek inside to show how they aim to transform the venue to bring a cinema back to Stourbridge for the first time in around 40 years.

Sam Binks is the construction professional with a vision for how the venue can be converted into a two-screen movie theatre, while Diana Boateng is tasked with raising the funds needed for the project. Cinema and film expert James, meanwhile, is directing the project.

Anyone wishing to help kickstart the fundraising can donate online at https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/westmidlandsccas

Sam explained the plan to create a regular cinema auditorium downstairs, with a fancier set-up upstairs offering movie fans the chance to dine as they watch.

He said the hope is that members of the public will donate to the campaign to help get plans off the ground. Bids are set to be submitted to various funding bodies such as the National Lottery and Prince’s Trust and the team hope to offer businesses chance to invest in the project in return for seeing their name not necessarily in lights but on the wall outside.

Sam said: “I think it’s going to be great.

“I can’t wait but there’s a lot of things that need to happen. We need a lot of money to get this project going.”